How can I upgrade Mac OS 10.5.8 to 10.6 with a broken CD drive?
January 22, 2013 6:35 PM   Subscribe

I would like to upgrade my Mac OS 10.5.8 to 10.6. I've been told that the way to do this is to order the CD from apple. However, my CD drive is broken (all else is fine with my Mac). How can I upgrade to 10.6 another way?
posted by figTree to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Find someone who has a working drive and CCC clone it to an external harddisk partition or to a USB stick. You should always do this anyway because the CD is so damn slow and inconvenient in a recovery situation.
posted by rr at 6:46 PM on January 22, 2013

If you have access to another Mac with a working DVD drive, you could copy the DVD to a USB drive or key and install from that.

Lacking that, Amazon has external USB DVD drives for as little as $14. I have no idea if your Mac will boot from one of those [as opposed to Apple's $79 external Superdrive], but if it can, it's an inexpensive option.

Apple will not sell you the upgrade in any other form than a disk, so any option is going to involve getting that disk from Apple as a first step.
posted by chazlarson at 6:50 PM on January 22, 2013

Am I right in presuming the disk image would need to be "seen" by the Mac during bootup? I've burned disk images before, but I just presumed that Apple would make burning this upgrade hard/impossible. Anyone tried it?
posted by figTree at 6:53 PM on January 22, 2013

Apple OS CD/DVDs have no copy-protection. They're regular bootable disks and can be duped through standard means.

That link discusses doing what needs to be done purely with Apple-supplied tools [Disk Utility, mostly].

The disk image is only an interim product. You can't boot the machine off a disk image. You need to write it to a USB flash drive or other UDB disk in order to boot from it.
posted by chazlarson at 7:12 PM on January 22, 2013

I actually just did this. I bought the disk and tried to install it, only to discover that my DVD drive doesn't work anymore (I never use it, so I didn't realize). I ended up going to the apple store with the disk to have them look at the drive, and the genius ended up upgrading my to 10.6 with one of their external harddrives. It took over an hour so I left my computer and had them call me when it was ready. It saved me from having to pay to fix the never-used drive. So if you're close to an apple store, I would recommend that you make an appointment at the genius bar and make sure you've backed up all your data before you go.
posted by Nickel at 7:14 PM on January 22, 2013

I did what Nickel did, got it done at the store.
posted by shoesietart at 7:54 PM on January 22, 2013

While you're at it, if you're using a laptop and it is in good enough condition and the cost of the upgrade isn't prohibitively high (i.e. makes more sense to buy a new laptop), you should take your computer to a store (or third party retailer) and have them toss out the CD drive and add a second hard drive. Best upgrade I've ever done, seriously. Especially if you upgrade to an SSD and move your OS over to it.
posted by phaedon at 5:29 AM on January 23, 2013

Does your Mac have a Firewire port? If so, you can use Firewire Target mode. Here's what you do:

1. Borrow another Mac that has a working internal DVD drive, and Firewire. Turn it off.
2. Attach the other Mac to your Mac with a Firewire cable.
3. Put the 10.6 DVD inside the other Mac's DVD drive.
4. Hold down the 'T' key on the other Mac, and start it up. The Firewire icon will appear on the other Mac's screen.
5. Now your Mac should be able to see all drives on the other Mac, including the DVD drive. Restart your Mac, holding down the option key, and it will let you choose which drive to boot from.
posted by vasi at 12:48 PM on January 23, 2013

« Older Accomodations and activities in Maui, in March!   |   Video chat interview Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.